Pew: Millennials Have the Least Confidence in Future of U.S.

Millennials have less confidence in the future of the United States compared to older generations, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

Pew reports that a recent survey found just 37 percent of Millennials (or Americans ages 18-34 years old) said they had “quite a lot of confidence” in country’s future compared to 45 percent of Gen Xers (or people ages 35-50 years old), 49 percent of Baby Boomers (those ages 51-69 years old) and 56 percent of the so-called Silent generation (or 70 to 87 years old).

While Millennials have the least confidence in the country’s future, they are not bucking a trend. In fact Pew reports that the past several decades have seen the youngest adult generations express the least amount of confidence in the nation’s future.

“This finding highlights one of the challenges of generational analysis, namely determining when differences among age cohorts are attributable to life stage rather than to a unique characteristic of a generation,” the report reads.

“For instance, Millennials are less engaged in politics than older generations, but that has been true for successive generations of young people,” it continues. “Similarly, Millennials’ relative lack of confidence in the nation’s future may be a life-cycle effect.”

In 1994, for example, just 30 percent of Gen Xers (then, ages 18-29 years old) had “a lot of confidence” in the nation’s future compared to 50 percent of Boomers (then, ages 30-48 years old) and 54 percent of the Silent generation (then, ages 45-65 years old).

In 1975, when Boomers (then, ages 18-29 years old) were the youngest adult generation, they too were the least confident with 49 percent expressing “a lot of confidence,“ compared to 62 percent of Silents (then, ages 30-47 years old), and 67 percent of the Greatest Generation (then, ages 48-60 years old).


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